I have already ranted about my displeasure with the iPhone because it’s locked down like a brick and cannot be really used effectively on a Linux box. But if you thought that was bad then you have seen nothing! The Free Software Foundation published an alarming article titled 5 Reasons to Avoid iPhone 3G.
- iPhone completely blocks free software. Developers must pay a tax to Apple, who becomes the sole authority over what can and can’t be on everyone’s phones.
- iPhone endorses and supports Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology.
- iPhone exposes your whereabouts and provides ways for others to track you without your knowledge.
- iPhone won’t play patent- and DRM-free formats like Ogg Vorbis and Theora.
- iPhone is not the only option. There are better alternatives on the horizon that respect your freedom, don’t spy on you, play free media formats, and let you use free software — like the FreeRunner.
It’s a really interesting read, Johns goes on into more details on each of these points. If you are thinking of getting an iPhone 3G then i highly recommend reading FSF’s 5 Reasons to Avoid iPhone 3G to it’s entirety first before going out and splurging $400 to handcuff yourself.
The Free Software Foundation has done it’s part in preaching the dangers of the iPhone, but defective by design took it a step further and took action! Yesterday they issued an iPhone challenge called Ask Apple About the iPhone. The challenge urges everybody to reserve an appointment at the so called Apple Genius Bar using an online booking system. And ask these so called geniuses a series of 5 questions. Then rate them on a scale from 1-32 on each question, bringing the total to 160 IQ points (Einstien’s IQ):
- Why do all developers have to submit their applications to Apple before they can be loaded onto an iPhone?
- Why does iTunes still contain so much DRM-laden music?
- The iPhone 3G has GPS support. How can users be sure that the GPS cannot be used to track their position, without their permission?
- In ‘Thoughts on Music’, Steve Jobs said, “it is useful to remember that all iPods play music that is free of any DRM and encoded in ‘open’ licensable formats such as MP3 and AAC”. If Jobs really wants to see open formats, why doesn’t the iPhone play Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Theora video and FLAC?
- Why can the iPhone 3G only be activated by Apple and AT&T?
Check out the ideal answers in the original Ask Apple About the iPhone article.
Of course one doesn’t really expect sincere and honest answers from these corporate geniuses, who have been probably spoonfed some marketing boo-ha! They already have been corrupted by Apple’s groupthink, but we will have to wait and see!